Space

School of Humanities and Sciences —

NASA’s Fermi mission reveals record-setting gamma-ray bursts

Stanford has played a leading role in compiling Fermi’s gamma-ray bursts catalogs ever since the space observatory launched nearly 11 years ago. More than 120 authors contributed to the effort.

Gemini Planet Imager analyzes 300 stars

Analysis from halfway through the Gemini Planet Imager’s planetary survey hints that our solar system may have rare qualities which could possibly be related to the habitability of Earth.

Inexpensive chip-size satellites orbit Earth

A swarm of 105 tiny satellites the size of computer chips, costing under $100 each, recently launched into Earth’s orbit. Stanford scientist Zac Manchester, who dreamed up the ChipSats, said they pave the way for cheaper and easier space exploration.

LIGO resumes gravitational wave search after upgrades

With some Stanford-led upgrades, the gravitational wave detector LIGO is back online after a year of work. It’s now more sensitive than ever to spacetime ripples and will be joined by other detectors around the world.

Dynamicist Thomas R. Kane dies at 94

Thomas Kane, who revolutionized how scientists study forces and motion and whose research helped spacecraft and astronauts orient properly in space, died at age 94.

Making the environment of outer space work for us

Inspired by early explorers and science fiction, researchers at the Space Environment and Satellite Systems lab are trying to understand how we could use space’s challenging environment to our advantage.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory —

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

SLAC scientists find a new way to explain how a black hole’s plasma jets boost particles to the highest energies observed in the universe. The results could also prove useful for fusion and accelerator research on Earth.

First Mars program director Scott Hubbard on InSight

Hubbard was right next to mission control for the landing of InSight on Mars. Here’s what he thinks about NASA’s latest deep-space triumph and the special satellites that accompanied it.